How to Make the Perfect Hot Toddy with Tea

A good hot toddy is the perfect cozy tea-based drink for chilly weather. While you can make a hot toddy using plain hot water, using loose leaf tea as a base makes for an even tastier and more flavorful drink. We’re firm believers in enjoying hot toddies for pleasure, medicinal reasons, and to warm up on cold winter nights!


How to Make a Tea-Based Hot Toddy

The basic recipe for a hot toddy is pretty simple: add spirits, lemon juice, and honey to a base of hot tea, stir, and enjoy! That said, you can certainly fancy up a hot toddy by adding aromatic spices, garnishes, and additional ingredients.

Hot Toddy Ingredients

  • One cup of hot tea - You can use any tea you like as the base (see our recommendations below.)
  • Two ounces of spirits - Bourbon, brandy, and dark rum are all great options.
  • Lemon juice to taste - If you have it, fresh-squeezed lemon juice is ideal.
  • Honey to taste - Our Hollow Tree Honey is lovely in a hot toddy.
  • Optional garnishes - Cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, and lemon or orange slices are all great additions.

    Hot Toddy Instructions

    Your hot toddy can be as simple or complex as you choose to make it. Adding a spoonful of honey, a squeeze of lemon, and a glug of bourbon to your tea is a perfectly acceptable (and encouraged) preparation method! Here’s a step-by-step guide to our go-to hot toddy recipe:

    1. Prepare your tea - Follow the preparation instructions for whatever tea you’ve decided on.
    2. Add your spirits - Stir about two ounces of whiskey, dark rum, or brandy into your tea.
    3. Add fresh lemon juice - Add lemon juice to taste, freshly squeezed if you’ve got it.
    4. Add honey - Add honey or another sweetener to taste.
    5. Garnish - You can garnish your hot toddy with a cinnamon stick, citrus slices, or other spices.
    6. Enjoy - For best results, we recommend enjoying a hot toddy along with a good book by a crackling fire.

      The best tea for a hot toddy

      While you can make a hot toddy using unflavored hot water, using tea as a base for a hot toddy adds a depth of flavor to this cozy drink. You can use whatever tea you want for a hot toddy, and any full-bodied, flavorful tea that can stand up well to the strong flavors of spirits and lemon is a good option. Here are some teas we recommend using for this recipe.

      Assam Black Tea

      Our organic Assam is a robust black tea with tremendous flavor. This 2nd flush tea has a grade of FBOP (Flowery Broken Orange Pekoe). It brews up a rich coppery color with a full body, hints of malt and toast, and moderate astringency.

      Earl Grey Francais Black Tea

      If you love the taste of bergamot, you're sure to enjoy this tea. Flavored with bergamot oil from France, this tea is a bolder, more aromatic version of the traditional Earl Grey, with citrusy, sweet, and slightly spicy notes.

      Solstice Spice Black Tea

      Solstice Spice blends black tea with apple, cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, orange slices, and pink pepper for a taste reminiscent of the holidays. A classic spiced tea!

      Honeybush Hot Cider Herbal Tea

      Honeybush is a full-bodied cousin of rooibos with a slightly sweeter taste. This tea combines honeybush with apple, cinnamon, orange peel, and licorice root for a sweet, lightly spiced blend reminiscent of mulled cider.

      Egyptian Chamomile Herbal Tea

      Our Egyptian Chamomile is made from the highest quality organic chamomile sourced from Egypt. This single-ingredient herbal tea is characterized by large, fragrant chamomile flower heads, and brews up into a lovely gold-colored infusion, with a mellow natural sweetness and notes of straw, honey, and apples.

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